Beyond the Numbers: CFO Brad Halverson Meets Engineer Kevin Jarboe

July 25, 2017

Kevin Jarboe is on top of the world when he’s riding his 1952 D2 Caterpillar tractor. With 17 years at the company, Caterpillar is not only Kevin’s career – it’s his passion, his hobby and a great escape from the challenges of everyday life. 

“It’s really cool to see [the tractor] in my garage when I come home,” Kevin said.

At the age of 15, Kevin suffered a massive stroke while on vacation with his family. Kevin’s dad, Jerry, describes what happened that day: “He just came in to the beach house and said, ‘I’m feeling dizzy,’ and then he just started losing control.” 

Despite a grim prognosis, Kevin fought for his life doing therapy six hours a day during his five-month hospital stay. His drive to get well translated into a drive to succeed in all areas of his life. 

Graduating in the top 10 of his high school class, Kevin went on to get his degree in electrical engineering from the Unversity of Illinois, with his sights set on Caterpillar. 

“I started with internships. Caterpillar has really given me the resources I need to work,” Kevin said.

As an engineer in Cat Electronics, Kevin writes code to test the software on Caterpillar’s service and diagnostic tool.  He’s a member of the quality assurance team, and the pride he has in his work is what makes him an enthusiastic collector.

Brad Halverson, Caterpillar group president and CFO, spent some time out on Kevin’s property to check out his collection. 

“Do you have a most interesting piece you’ve picked out?” Brad asked Kevin. 

“I found a ribbon. It’s an old boxcar seal from about 1924. It has ‘Holt, East Peoria’ stamped [on it],” Kevin replied.

But it’s clear, Kevin’s prized possession is that old D2. 

“I like to drive this in the pasture,” Kevin said. “[And] I’ve done some demolition with it … on accident.” 

“On Accident?” Brad replied. “What did you demolish, Kevin?” 

The two shared a laugh as Kevin went on to explain he had demolished the threshold on his garage door.

Kevin’s dad shared his thoughts on what Kevin has been able to accomplish. “I’m really proud of Kevin. Kevin has made it easier for us, because of his attitude,” Jerry explained.  “He never did give up. He just worked his way through all this and luckily he has a really good mind.”

“I have a good life as an employee [at Caterpillar],” Kevin said. “So, I am very thankful to work at Caterpillar.”

We are so thankful to have people like Kevin on team Caterpillar.

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